May 21st 2012 was probably one of the darkest days to be a Laker fan. That day, Oklahoma City decided to beat us in an embarrassing fashion by taking Game 5 and beating us 106-90. Many questioned what was next for the Lakers, Kobe and especially Pau Gasol. I remember every blog and tweet screamed with conviction of ridding Pau Gasol immediately. It was the 2nd time in a row where he failed to play his full potential like the previous years he spent in LA. I knew that wasnt the solution to this problem. Hell, he helped get us to the promise land 3 times in a row and we won 2 titles out of it. Theres all the proof you need to know that he plays a huge part on this team.
That night on May 21st, I watched Game 5 at the ESPN Zone at LA Live. I love watching it there because it makes you feel like your there and feels like its the heart of the Laker community. Its right across the street from Staples Center so it makes sense. When that final buzzer rang and the game was officially over, I remember this guy in a Pierce jersey going to every Laker fan and laughing in their face and boasted because the Celtics were still in the playoffs. People like him, I just turn the other way because its just a waste of time talking to people like him. I might talk a lot of shit about other teams but deep down, I still respect people and I wouldn't do such a thing like rub it in people's faces unless they did it to me first.
So after that final buzzer, I turned and saw the asshole Boston fan and these two girls crying. One of them was crying her eyes out. To the point where I felt the need to put my hand on her shoulder and actually tell her "Hey... I know its not going to make things better by telling ya its just a game but it'll get better. It always does." She smiled and thanked me for trying to keep her head up. I began walking away, straight to the exit with my head down with sadness and trying to practice the same words I just preached to a total stranger. I look straight ahead and there it is, Staples Center. It looked so beautiful just sitting there in the darkness, without anybody there.
I walked across Chick Hearn Way, and stood in front of the Magic Johnson statue. Almost as if I was staring into a crucifix or painting of Jesus and asking "Why?" Why did this have to happen? But then as I looked deeper into Staples Center, it hit me. Losing is necessary in order to win. You must fall from grace because its the only way you can go back up. We didn't need to blow up the team or rebuild, we just needed to reload. We have the technology in Mitch Kupchak and Jerry Buss' desire to follow in his father's footsteps and make him proud.
Today, is August 11th 2012 and its been 2 months and 22 days exactly from that date of me staring into Staples Center, questioning whats in stored for us. Today, I'm glad to say that since then we have acquired 2 time League MVP, 8 time NBA All-Star Steve Nash and 3 time NBA Defensive Player of the Year & 6 time NBA All-Star Dwight Howard. How is that for rebuilding? How many times can the Lakers reload after a disappointing year? I'll tell ya, every time. Thats what we do and thats what we're known for. If we come up short one year, we just put more bullets in the chamber and fire again. Thats what built that arena that I stared into and thats why the LA Lakers are the greatest basketball team that has ever existed. The Los Angeles Lakers are officially reloaded. Better, Stronger Faster. For the first time ever, every NBA team should really be concerned and FEAR LA, especially that asshole wearing that Boston jersey.